Man charged in fatal stabbing of Tacoma woman, attack at gym

TACOMA, Wash. — A man suspected of fatally stabbing a homeless woman in Tacoma and attacking a clerk at a gym was suffering from mental health issues and hearing voices at the time, according to court documents.

Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday charged Renaldo Dozier, 49, with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree robbery in connection with Saturday’s attacks. He was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

The Medical Examiner’s Office identified the homeless woman as Rikki Lynn Millerup, 40. An autopsy showed she had 11 stab wounds to her throat, torso, abdomen, thighs and groin.

The woman who was attacked at the gym suffered a slash mark to her chest and a wound under her chin but is expected to survive.

Charging papers give this account of the attacks:

Dozier walked into a gym in the 9800 block of Pacific Avenue, approached the reception desk and asked the clerk about a membership. He then allegedly pulled a knife out of his hoodie and struggled with the clerk.

“The defendant ‘violently’ drew his knife across the victim’s neck, and when she struggled to get away, he slammed her to the ground,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers. “He then knelt over the victim and thrust his knife into her torso.”

He snatched her wallet out of her backpack and stole a debit card before fleeing.

Dozier came back about two hours later and circled the assistant manager as she sat in her vehicle, motioning for her to get out. When he saw her call 911, he fled.

Police arrested him hiding in bushes nearby. A knife and scalpel were found on him, records say.

Detectives were able to link him to Millerup’s death, which occurred a block away from the gym hours before. He allegedly confession to the homicide.

One of Millerup’s friends passed by her camp in the morning and saw her lying on the ground with her pants down, but assumed she was intoxicated. When she was still in the same position hours later, he sought help.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Surveillance footage shows Dozier approach Millerup’s camp, appear to stab her and rummage through her things, records say.

He later told police he walked to Tacoma from his home in Puyallup and found a knife.

“It was at that time that he decided he was going to hurt someone,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers.

Dozier also said he’d recently had his medication changed for schizophrenia and had been hearing voices and thinking about hurting people.

This story was originally published by The News Tribune.